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Dodds announces resumption of onsite learning for close contact teaching subjects

Learners can resume onsite training in some close contact subjects at further education colleges and non-statutory providers from Friday 23 April, Economy Minister Diane Dodds announced today.

The development, agreed by the Executive today, means those studying subjects such as hair and beauty, barbering, sport and hospitality will receive the practical training that is a key part of learning in these fields.

Colleges and non-statutory providers will be required to carry out site-specific risk assessments and adhere to guidance on safe resumption of onsite learning in the Department’s Framework Document, developed in line with public health advice.

Speaking about the move, the Minister said:

“I have been committed to increasing safe onsite learning at further education colleges and non-statutory providers as quickly as possible and am pleased to be in a position to make this announcement.

“This is good news for those studying for qualifications in these close contact subject areas. By their nature, these areas require learners to have practical learning experience in order to develop their skills.”

The Minister also welcomed the other easements announced by the Executive today:

“I am pleased that businesses in many sectors, who have suffered massively throughout the pandemic, have been given clarity today by the Executive in terms of dates. This is much needed and enables them to properly plan for the return of customers to their premises. I will continue to work with Executive colleagues to further progress the safe reopening of our economy as quickly as possible.”

The Minister concluded:

“The guidance for colleges and non-statutory training providers, that my Department has developed in line with public health advice, will play a key role in enabling learners to gain the level of practical experience required for their training in these areas and to contribute to achieving their qualifications and progression into employment or the next stage of their study.

“I wish all learners returning to their training providers the very best as they resume the practical elements of their courses.”

The Framework Document containing guidance for FE colleges and non-statutory training providers on safe resumption of training in close contact subjects is available at: